The Graduate and Plastics Essay example

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The Graduate and Plastics


The Graduate is a 1967 film directed by Mike Nichols who won an Oscar for his direction.  This hit of the 60's focuses on the development and the maturing of the ultra-naïve college graduate Benjamin Braddock.  This movie is about "just one word...Plastics."  Mr. McQuire sums up this entire movie when he tells Ben that there is "a great future in plastics."  In this film the relationships, except the one between Ben and Elaine, are like plastic because they are not real, they are molded, and they are artificial. 


The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Robinson is shaky at best.  There is no love in their marriage; in fact, the only reason there is a
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Robinson is the only one who recognizes the falsehood of the marriage.  When Mr. Robinson confronts Ben he tells him that he and his wife "are getting a divorce soon."  Mr. Robinson acts as though the affair is the only reason for the divorce, which may be true in his mind.  We never know the thoughts of Mr. Robinson he might truly love Mrs. Robinson but we can never know for certain.  Mr. Robinson, like Ben, is naïve to the world around him.  He is in his own artificially created world, a world made of plastic, created by plastic relationships.


When Ben is seduced by Mrs. Robinson he enters a world of plastic.  Like plastic, this world is capable of being shaped into the desired world of the manipulator.  The manipulator in this instance is the decadent and sardonic Mrs. Robinson.  She holds the cards because she knows how to play the game.  Ben is young, naïve, and inexperienced.  Mrs. Robinson spots these characteristics and uses them to get her way.  When Ben questions their actions, she insults his masculinity by claiming this is his "first time" which leads to their first sexual encounter.  Mrs. Robinson knows how to control him so that he does take part in this affair because at the moment all she wants is him.  I don't think that Ben has any idea what he is doing; it is almost as though he has nothing better to do than to have an affair with Mrs.

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